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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, August 16, 2016

By Bill Kombol

This photo of the Maple Valley railway depot was taken in 1948 as viewed looking northbound along the Maple Valley highway (aka SR-169). The depot was also used as the dispatcher’s office.

It was the second railroad station in Maple Valley, replacing the first constructed in 1885, when the original rail line was built to access coal from the newly developed town of Black Diamond. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, July 19, 2016

By Bill Kombol

This January 20, 1948 photo shows a PCRR engine pulling loaded coal cars as they cross over the Cedar River near Maplewood Golf Course in Renton.

This January 20, 1948, photo shows a PCRR engine pulling loaded coal cars as they cross over the Cedar River near Maplewood Golf Course in Renton.

This column’s focus over the next several weeks will be the Pacific Coast Railroad (PCRR), previously known as the Columbia & Puget Sound (C&PS). Perhaps no other single venture was more important to the development of the Maple Valley–Black Diamond area than the railroad. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, June 4, 1975

(This is the third in a series of articles on historical personages written by students in Mrs. Vicci Beck’s history class at Tahoma Junior High School.)

By Bruce Jensen

Edith Johnson Wright at Peacock Station on the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad, Hobart, 1911.

Edith Johnson Wright at Peacock Station on the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad, Hobart, 1911.

The following article is from an interview with Edith Wright who has lived in Hobart since 1909. The interview proved very fruitful, with Mrs. Wright being a veritable storehouse of facts about Hobart in the early 1900s. I had no trouble in obtaining the information from her and enjoyed the interview very much.

Edith Wright

Mrs. Wright’s father was one of the most colorful and influential figures in Hobart’s history, Oscar “Strawberry” Johnson. He was a leader by nature, and did much to improve the Hobart area.

In 1907 he bought the remaining 80 acres of the Clifford homestead and began raising strawberries. The first year, he planted two or three acres, but later he planted more. Penny Clifford peddled the berries in Taylor, Ravensdale, Black Diamond, and Issaquah. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, October 4, 2016

By Bill Kombol

Proprietors Paul and Hannah Knoernschild, standing to the left of the horse and buggy, in the coal and clay mining town of Taylor.

Proprietors Paul and Hannah Knoernschild, standing to the left of the horse and buggy, in the coal and clay mining town of Taylor.

Taylor was a mining town located about 4 miles east of Hobart on a branch line of the Columbia & Puget Sound Railroad. The area was first homesteaded by Sam Galloway, who discovered both coal and clay deposits in 1892.

Three years later the property was sold to Arthur Denny, who’d founded Seattle in 1852. He formed the Denny Clay Company, which opened the mines with the coal used to fire the clay manufactured into bricks, shingles, and sewer pipe. Over 633,000 tons of coal were mined and millions of clay products shipped. (more…)

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Originally published in The Seattle Times, April 9, 1980

By Louis T. Corsaletti
Times suburban reporter

The dotted line shows the area to be covered by the communities plan.

The dotted line shows the area to be covered by the communities plan.

TAHOMA-RAVEN HEIGHTS — More than 115 years ago the discovery of vast coal deposits drew settlers to the remote Squak Mountain, Issaquah and Newcastle regions. But now the sprawling reserves of undeveloped land are spawning rapid growth in the 150-square mile area from Issaquah south to Black Diamond.

So last August, King County planners assisting a citizens’ committee began the tremendous task of planning for the future of what is called the Tahoma/Raven Heights Communities Plan area—the largest plan undertaken so far.

A recently prepared profile on Tahoma/Raven Heights shows that between 1970 and 1980, the population has grown from about 19,500 to about 26,000. And forecasts indicate a population of almost 40,000 by 1990. (more…)

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Originally published in the Voice of the Valley, April 7, 2009

By Barbara Nilson

The Louis Krall family celebrates their mother’s birthday in 1958 at the Kennydale home of Nancy and Don Krall. Back row: Larry, Don and Hank; front row: Ann, Mrs. (Emily) Louis Krall, mother; Emily and Marie. (Photo loaned by Krall family).

The Louis Krall family celebrates their mother’s birthday in 1958 at the Kennydale home of Nancy and Don Krall. Back row: Larry, Don and Hank; front row: Ann, Mrs. (Emily) Louis Krall, mother; Emily and Marie. (Photo loaned by Krall family).

[Saturday, April 18, 2009, the Louis Krall family shared memories of growing up on their farm established in 1911 on the Hobart-Taylor Road. The program was sponsored by the Maple Valley Historical Society. The presentation was given by Jeanette Dunn, daughter of Emily (Krall) and Ernest Costanzo, and extended family members including her uncles, Larry and Don Krall.]

Jeanette Dunn’s grandparents, Emily and Louis Krall, along with their first born, a daughter Marie, emigrated from what is now Slovakia in 1911. Marie was born in Austria/Hungry and was six months old when they took the USS Kaiser Wilhelm from Brennan, Germany to New York. They intended to join Louis’ brothers who were already in America and Canada. They came to Washington through Canada in 1911.

Louis was a miner and worked in local mines at Ravensdale, Landsburg, Taylor, and Franklin. The family lived in Taylor and Franklin for a short time before moving to Hobart. He later worked at the clay plant in Taylor as did several of his sons. (more…)

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Originally published in the Seattle Times, April 2, 1961

(This is the first in a series of articles which will appear from time to time about lost towns of King County.)

By Lucile McDonald

Overlooking the site of the mining community of Cedar Mountain is a window on the south side of the home of Mrs. Edith Cavanaugh. On the table were deeds to the Cavanaugh land, signed by Presidents Grant and Arthur. —Times photo by Roy Scully.

Overlooking the site of the mining community of Cedar Mountain is a window on the south side of the home of Mrs. Edith Cavanaugh. On the table were deeds to the Cavanaugh land, signed by Presidents Grant and Arthur. —Times photo by Roy Scully.

Lost towns of King County rival in mystery the ghost towns of gold-mine country. The thing about them is that most have vanished without a trace—not so much as a weathered heap of timber or a false-front abandoned store to indicate that at this or that road junction stood a community of several hundred persons.

Any map of 50 years ago or more is sprinkled with place names where nothing to indicate a community exists today. Some of them were swallowed by the Cedar River watershed. Others died from natural causes.

Who could find Taylor, Kerriston, Cedar Mountain, Sherwood, Eddyville, and Barneston today? Who would know about Henry’s Switch, Atkinson, Trude, Holmar, Herrick, Danville, and Durham?

Yet, these names remain on the map, monuments to another time, when coal mines and sawmills attracted population to the foothills of the Cascades. (more…)

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